Group carpets Ayade for arresting civil servants who leaked secrets on looted Local govt funds
A group, Anansa Watchdog, has carpeted Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade for ordering the arrest of three civil servants who revealed how the local government funds illegally withdrawn from the state and local government joint accounts were looted.
The group in the statement signed by their coordinators Mesembe Asikpo Ito
and Eke Enembe and eight others said the looting being perpetrated by Ayade is to ensure a stooge replaces him in 2023 to cover his financial recklessness.
Daily Mail learned that the State Commissioner for Local government and chieftaincy affair, Mrs Stella Oremi Odey, through the order of the governor ordered “the arrest of top three civil servants for allegedly leaking information to a state newspaper, CrossRiverWatch, on Ayade’s vicious financial recklessness and withdrawal without expense.”
The three arrested Cross River civil servants include, Director of Joint Account Allocation Committee JAAC in the State Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mrs Pauline Odey; CEO, Account/Banking Services, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr. Essien Antigha; and Director of Finance in the office of the Accountant General of the State, Mr. Orok Bassey Ironbar.
Reports say the trio were arrested on Monday and gave statements to the police.
According to reports, the commissioner for Local government soon after their statements was on her knees to withdraw the case as their testimony was not only incriminating but indicting to not only the governor but his commissioner of Finance.
The said leaked documents of withdrawal of N50 million each and N250 million naira for Covid-19 programme and purchase of aircraft respectively, from the 18 Local government account had been in circulation for the pass three months.
They have not been official explanation from the state government.
According to the group, “The civil servant were released immediately the bubble bursted as they were ready to volunteer information that could be used against the governor and his Cohorts.
“This prompted their immediate request for administrative bail.”
The group further alleged that it “dug further to discover that the N900 million withdrawal, first tranche for Covid-19 was an open and broad day light looting as Cross River is without an isolation centre and with only 33 doctors.
“The second Tranchee of completion of Obudu airport and Air craft purchase is nothing but a hoax as the site has turned to blood field over encumbered plots of land forcefully claimed from the native. Even his village head knows that he is not building anything.”
Anansa Watchdog further has “it on good authority that all this looting was meant to gather funds to actualise his dream of installing Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr. as his successor.
“But the snag here is that Asuquo Ekpenyong doesn’t show adequate capacity to run a ministry let alone a state.
“We are yet to know the Cross River State statement of affairs for 5 Years as our account are in the woods and in shambles.
“A union Bank tally clerk can do better than Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr (Aka) Suki. Just last week Cross River State has just lost world Bank grant because of his lackadaisical approach to duty.
“It is on the strength of this that his father, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong has stepped up to run for governorship having seen the lapses in his son.
“Governor Ayade’s main issues here is Chief Asuquo age. He will be officially 75 years as we doubt if that is his real age. Also he doesn’t know how to tell chief Asuquo Ekpenyong no. Chief Ekpenyong has really helped Ayade to launder most of his loots through his Davandy Finance outfit.”
The group further alleged that the governor “has also used Chief and his son to neutralized the likes of Chief Ekpo Okon and H.E Efiok Cobham in Odukpani politics.
However, “Anansa watchdog demand Ayade to return all our funds to the coffers as all the projects are not feasible.
“If the the sum amount drawn from the state coffers was really for project why the annoyance that the information leaked?
“If Ayade has good intentions with over N5.7 billion of our state in his kitty, he should state the aircraft vendor, the contractors of the airport construction and the spreadsheet of Covid-19 expenditures.
“In as much as Gov. Ayade has made commitment of returning power to the south in different foras, which is a welcome development, this feat should be achieved devoid of our state funds.”
The group demanded “for a complete reversal of entries of all those spurious debits constructed apology to those civil servant.”
The group rejected the opening of third airport saying the state can not “maintain the two existing airport.
“Meanwhile local government area like Boki, Biase, Odukpani,Etung and Obubra are without a general hospital while the governor has withdrawn N300 million from their accounts for unexplained reasons.”
The group urged the governor “to concentrate on governance and leave politics so that you can redeem your battered image you have smeared by your Executive rascality.”
The statement was jointly signed by
1) Mesembe Asikpo Ito
2) Eke Enembe
3)Eso Oyo Okor Oyo
5)Efiom Ekpe Eyamba
6)Efiok Efiok Cobham